Though it takes awhile to get to the Florida Keys, it is feasible to go there for a weekend getaway. Fly to Miami, rent a car, and drive south to arguably the most beautiful and relaxed part of Florida. Not only do the Florida Keys boast beautiful beaches - they also have historic homes and a unique lifestyle that you will love. You will return home feeling refreshed after just a few days in this chilled-out environment. Here are ten things that we recommend doing when you're not resting on the beach or relaxing poolside at your vacation rental. By the way, it's a great idea to go with your family - you can find one of the most family-friendly beaches in Florida there.
Consider These 10 Things To Do On Your Florida Keys Getaway Weekend
1. Dry Tortugas National Park
Known for its abundant natural beauty, Dry Tortugas National Park is made up of over 99 percent water. Its rich marine life includes coral reefs, perfect for snorkeling. However, this National Park is best known for its birds. Nearly 300 species of birds can be seen here, and guides can help tourists spot them. Explore Fort Jefferson, the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere, which is located at the center of the park.
2. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
Author of influential American novels such as The Sun Also Rises and The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote in this estate for over ten years. Visitors can explore the beautiful property and see some real artifacts from his life. The property is also home to over 40 cats, which roam the grounds freely and are taken care of by a veterinarian on staff.
3. Florida Keys Brewing Company
Craft beer, normally associated with big cities, has found a home in the Florida Keys Brewing Company. It is the first microbrewery in the Upper Keys, and it offers a wide selection of beer. Take a tour of the brewery, enjoy the local artwork, or come for one of their many events. Its location in the Arts and Cultural District make it an essential stop on your relaxing island weekend.
The Florida Keys are known for turquoise blue water and warm weather. What better way to explore than on a boat? There are dozens of companies that offer tours and boat rentals on the archipelago. With everything from sailboats to speed boats, you’re sure to find one that matches your desired level of adventure.
5. Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
This relaxing habitat also serves as an educational center for visitors. Tropical plants, colorful birds, and dozens of butterfly species fill the conservatory. Groups of ten or more can take a guided tour, but individuals and small groups can explore the facilities independently. Your ticket allows access for the entire day, so you can take your time watching the butterflies live in this beautiful space.
Southern Florida is known for its nightlife, and the Florida Keys are no exception. There are many nightclubs that fit the traditional mold of loud music and young people, but there are other options for a fun night out. The Little Room Jazz Club plays live music in a relaxed atmosphere while the Greene Street Cigar Company offers board games, drinks, and cigars. Many nightclubs are located near beaches and piers, making them a perfect stop after a day of coastal exploration.
7. Relax at the Beach
Enjoy the pristine white sand beaches of the Florida Keys. The water temperature averages in the mid-80s, making water activities accessible and enjoyable. Palm trees, brightly contrasted against the cerulean sky, dot the landscape of this tropical paradise. Many beaches, such as Sombrero Beach, are dog-friendly, so bring your pup along to enjoy the best of the Florida Keys with the whole family.
8. Tropic Cinema
This old-fashioned movie theater plays small-release and foreign films. In addition to the usual movie theater snacks, it serves beer, wine, and popcorn with real butter melted on top! Its art-deco neon signs fit perfectly with Old Town Key West’s charm, and many films are family-friendly. Welcoming volunteers sell tickets and answer questions, making it a pleasant place to spend the evening.
9. Participate in Festivals and Celebrations
The Florida Keys’ proximity to Miami makes it a hot destination for festivals and celebrations. This LGBT-friendly locale hosts many events throughout the year, most notably Pride. There are also events that celebrate outdoor recreation, such as the Key West Fishing Tournament and Coral Spawning Night Dives. No matter what you’re interested in, there is always something going on in Key West!
10. Drive the Overseas Highway
The Overseas Highway is a 113-mile stretch of road that connects the Florida Keys to the mainland. Take a unique road trip over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, enjoying views of the dazzling horizon. There are many places to stop along the highway. Islamorada offers top fishing year-round while Marathon is a quaint community offering shopping and restaurants. The Overseas Highway was named an All-American Road, which is one of the highest honors that a road can receive.
This article was written by Marissa Fackler.